The Reno Aces used a four-run third inning to sneak past the Sacramento River Cats, 4-3, Wednesday afternoon at Raley Field. Peter O’Brien launched his PCL-leading 10th home run of the season – a two-run blast to cap the four-run outburst – backing Braden Shipley who earned his third win.
Singles by Sean Jamieson and Brett Hayes opened the third against River Cats starter Chris Stratton. Shipley sacrificed the duo up 90 feet, and after Stratton struck out Todd Glaesmann for the second out, Mike Freeman grounded a two-run single to center. Two pitches later, O’Brien belted an opposite-field shot to right, doubling Reno’s lead to 4-0.
Making his seventh start for Reno (14-18), Shipley retired the first seven batters he faced, including three consecutive strikeouts spanning the first and second innings. A double by Sacramento’s Hak-Ju Lee ended the run in the third. Stratton then sacrificed Lee to third, but Shipley sailed the throw past Freeman covering at first, allowing Lee to trot home on the play.
Shipley settled in briefly to start the fourth, retiring the first two batters. The 24-year-old ran into trouble, however, after issuing a two-out free pass to Mac Williamson. Arizona’s 2013 first-round pick served up his first home run of 2016 to the next batter, Grant Green, bringing the River Cats within one.
Shipley worked a scoreless fifth and departed after 91 pitches. Aces skipper Phil Nevin utilized three relievers to get through the sixth with the latter, Matt Stites, delivering another shutout frame in the seventh. Nevin went back to the well for the eighth and ninth innings, bringing on Enrique Burgos and Silvino Bracho for consecutive games. Bracho needed just eight pitches in a 1-2-3 ninth for his sixth save.
O’Brien’s homer moved him to fourth all-time in Aces history with 36 long balls while his 132 RBI ranks fifth. Freeman finished with two hits for his 11th multi-hit game of 2016.
Shipley (3-2) earned the win after giving up three runs (two earned) on six hits in five innings with one walk and four strikeouts. Stratton (4-3) took the loss after allowing four earned runs on five hits over six innings.
Reno continues its 12-game road trip Thursday night with Game 3 of a four-game series at Sacramento. First pitch is set for 7:05 p.m. PT. Reno will send left-hander Edwin Escobar (0-0, 3.38) to the bump, while the River Cats have not yet named a starter.
Reno Aces Press Release